Pipa was born on January 26 1998 in Esparreguera, Barcelona, five days before Andy Hunt’s 72nd-minute goal handed Albion a 1-0 victory at Molineux. His real name is Gonzalo Ávila Gordón, but is commonly known as ‘Pipa’.
He started his professional career at Spanish side Espanyol, who are based in Barcelona. He played for their ‘B’ team for three seasons between 2015 and 2018 before earning a promotion to the senior team in the summer of July 2018.
The defender’s first professional goal came in a 3-0 win over FC Asco in the Tercera Division on August 27 2017.
Pipa has represented Spain at youth level. He has featured for their U19, U20 and U21 sides.
In January 2019 he secured a loan move to second-tier side Gimnàstic de Tarragona, where he made 18 appearances before heading back to his parent club in June that year.
When he returned to Espanyol, he was handed the No.2 shirt ahead of the start of the 2019/20 La Liga campaign. He made his debut for the club in a 3-0 home win over Luzern in the UEFA Europa League in August, before going on to appear in the Spanish top flight for the first time the following month, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo.
Pipa helped Espanyol to a thrilling 3-2 victory against Albion’s rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in the UEFA Europa League in February 2020. The Baggies new boy came on with 15 minutes remaining and was on the pitch to witness striker Jonathan Calleri complete his hat-trick with a 90th-minute winner.
In September 2020, the defender swapped Spain for the John Smith’s Stadium, signing a three-year contract with Huddersfield Town. Albion boss Carlos Corberán signed him and handed him an immediate debut in their opening game of the campaign against Norwich City.
His first goal arrived on October 31 2020 in a 3-0 triumph away at Millwall. Pipa picked up the ball on the halfway line and drove towards the edge of the penalty area before unleashing an effort which beat the goalkeeper. The defender made 37 appearances that season, helping the Terriers maintain their Sky Bet Championship status.
The 25-year-old played 17 times the following season as Corberán’s group qualified for the Play-Offs. Pipa played in both games in the semi-final against Luton Town and also completed 90 minutes at Wembley Stadium where they were narrowly beaten by Nottingham Forest.
In the summer of 2022, Pipa followed Corberán to Greek giants Olympiakos. He made his debut for them in a UEFA Champions League qualifier away to Maccabi Haifa, a game which ended 1-1.
The defender made the move to Bulgaria in February 2023 when he joined 12-time champions Ludogorets. He featured for them over the summer in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
Pipa signed for the Albion on transfer deadline day, penning a one-year loan agreement.